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Public urged to avoid 999 nuisance calls

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A woman called for an ambulance after being bitten on the finger by a hamster, health officials have revealed.

Emergency services in Wales say they are under increasing pressure from nuisance 999 calls during the summer.

Included in the catalogue of shame over the past few weeks were two separate calls by men requesting urgent medical attention because they had hangovers and one patient faking severe stomach cramps - only to jump out of an ambulance on route to hospital and thank paramedics for the lift.

Wales’ acting chief medical officer Dr Chris Jones warned that emergency crews have enough to contend with during a busy summer without unnecessary 999 calls.

He said: “We are seeing a growing number of inappropriate emergency calls to the ambulance service.

“A 999 call should only be made in the event of a serious medical emergency, such as when life is in immediate danger.

“All emergency health services are very busy and patients should only attend Emergency Departments (A&E) if they are very badly hurt or if they become very seriously ill.”

Details of other nuisance calls released by the Welsh NHS included a woman phoning to say she had a badly wounded hand - only for paramedics to discover she had sustained a minor scratch from her cat.

Dr Jones added: “Patients have a role to play in helping ease this current pressure on emergency services by choosing well.

“I’d urge people who need NHS care and are unaware of which service to access to consider using other services.”


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